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Imola 200, the Daytona of Europe

The story of Paul Smart’s 1972 ride for Ducati is well documented and I’ve been lucky enough to speak with both Paul and Bruno Spaggiari about it. The interview with Bruno was in Benzina 14. Famously Paul’s wife Maggie took the phone call from Ducati at home while Paul was racing in the US. But have you ever wondered how Ducati got Maggie’s home phone number? Here’s a guess: her brother Barry Sheene gave it to them. Barry was entered into the 1972 Imola race by Ducati and if you can get hold of the programme (Livio has one at the Ducati museum) he’s listed in it as a Ducati rider. But Triumph – whose owners BSA had reputedly paid Mike Hailwood a cool million to race the new triple at Daytona – persuaded Barry to switch horses, just before they ran out of cash. So Barry was a no-show and Ducati’s spare 750SSs – in their fancy glazed transporter pictured – went unraced


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